“The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.” Matthew 13:33
Jesus is born! God, who created all that has been made, now becomes a part of what He created. Eternity enters the creation and begins the work of transforming all things into its own likeness. From a source of life no larger than the size of a baby emanates a Truth so secure and so integral that all of life will eventually conform to its shape. This ‘yeast’ of Christmas will continue to grow throughout creation until it raises all things—until Christ is ‘all in all.’ This is pretty good news for otherwise flat bread.
You can pull at bread dough all you want from the outside and you will never be able to do more than stretch it out a little. But a tiny bit of yeast mixed into the dough starts working pretty impressively from the inside out. It inflates the dough like a tire and eventually causes it to rise up to a full loaf. We too, like bread, are being raised from the inside out by this wonderful motion that is leading all of creation upwards towards eternal life. Just as the yeast in the dough metabolizes the starches and sugars in the flour, so we are being transformed by the work of God in us. No wonder we celebrate Christmas!
Like leaven deep in the hearts of men and women, the Holy Spirit is in the process of expanding outwards. As Paul recognized, “all over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth.” (Col. 1:6) We are part of an increasing yield that has been accumulating throughout history since the day Christ was born. In this slow and most subversive way God is reclaiming His creation.
What a joy it is to celebrate at Christmas time the humble beginnings of God’s restoration of the world. God permeates creation from the inside-out! It’s brilliant! As Jesus makes clear in this parable, there is a large amount of flour that needs to be raised but, without a doubt, the leaven will soon work itself throughout the entire dough. Maranatha!
Let us rejoice that the process has surely begun.
Rob & Ruth Des Cotes
Imago Dei Christian Communities
For Group Discussion:
- How do you feel you are being expanded by God? What is the fruit?
- Consider places in your life which are still like flatbread. Where do you need leaven?
- What is God’s grace and truth creating in you?
For Prayer: God, reclaim yourself in me! I rejoice in the hope and possibility of transformation and being drawn to you!